Keeping detailed records are important for a variety of reasons. For example, a daily food journal could help you to identify a food allergy. Keeping track of your financial records could help in making sound decisions regarding investments. Or, recording your child care expenses could qualify you for a tax deduction on your annual tax return. An article in the Orlando Sentinel details the story of a fraudster who kept detailed records about his victims and how he collected approximately $400,000 from a tax-fraud scheme.

The story states that for nearly a year, a 50-year-old man and his alleged co-conspirators used stolen personal information including names, birth dates and Social Security numbers to electronically file fraudulent tax returns. During a criminal investigation, the local sheriff’s office and federal agents raided his home and discovered detailed ledgers containing victim information, such as names, email addresses, passwords, filing dates and times and amounts.

The man and his suspected co-conspirators received the fraudulent refunds through reloadable debit cards or in the form of checks disbursed from the U.S. Treasury. The checks were then mailed to addresses that were linked to the ring leader or his co-conspirators. (Nearly $15,000 was seized from the ringleader’s residence.)

The man pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the crime. The judge ordered the fraudster to forfeit the $14,952 found in his residence and also entered a forfeiture judgment of $325,886, the “traceable proceeds from the fraud scheme.”

I’m sure that the investigators in this case appreciated that the ring leader and his co-conspirators were such good records keepers. It made their job easy when presenting evidence to the court. This criminal can be sure that there will now be detailed records kept about him while serving out his time in prison. He now has a permanent record regarding his crime and conviction, which will follow him for the rest of his life.

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